In most states, the practice of equine dentistry falls under the practice of veterinary medicine. In addition to veterinary programs, some schools offer associate's, bachelor's, master's and doctoral degrees in equine science that might appeal to aspiring equine dentists. These programs last from two to four years depending on the degree level. They may also require internships, thesis work or clinical rotations. These programs are not available online.
Associate of Applied Science Degree in Equine Science
A two-year associate's degree program in equine science provides hands-on experience involving science, business, riding and training in the equine industry. Students learn about the basics of equine health care and business management.
Students seeking enrollment in an associate's degree program for equine science must complete an application for admission, which includes submitting a high school transcript and ACT or SAT scores. All students must possess high school diplomas or the equivalent.
If students wish to further their studies in veterinary medicine or equine science, they are advised to take a bulk of their classes in the sciences, including equine biology and anatomy. Common classes available to those enrolled in an associate's degree program for equine science include:
- Animal science
- Equine business management
- Introduction to agriculture economics
- Horse evaluation
Bachelor of Science Degree in Equine Science
Students enrolled in a four-year bachelor's degree program in equine science learn about horse anatomy and reproduction as well as horse handling and equine nutrition. The degree program also features a foundation in equine anatomy, physiology, chemistry and biology.
Students seeking enrollment in a bachelor's degree program in equine science must complete an application, which may include submitting ACT or SAT scores. Some programs encourage applicants to take mathematics and chemistry classes before enrolling. Students must also hold high school diplomas or the equivalent.
In addition to classroom coursework, students participate in equine-based internships and seminars. The internships take place during the third or fourth year of school. Examples of courses include:
- Equine disease management
- Horse training
- Equine behavior
- Horse handling
- Foaling management
Master of Science Degree in Equine Science
A master's degree program in equine science covers scientific agriculture, biostatistics and nutritional care of horses. The two-year program teaches students how to breed, care, train and maintain horses. Potential students must have a baccalaureate degree from an accredited college or university, preferably with a major in agricultural, biological or life science.
A master's degree program for equine science focuses mainly on research and laboratory work. Students specialize in a specific discipline within the major and work closely with an advisor to prepare a written thesis. Courses included within the master's degree program include:
- Equine genetics
- Reproductive management
- Advanced biochemistry
- Nutritional toxicology
Find schools that offer these popular programs
- Laboratory Animal Medicine
- Large Animal and Equine Medicine
- Veterinary Anatomy
- Veterinary Biomedical Sciences
- Veterinary Clinical Sciences
- Veterinary Infectious Diseases
- Veterinary Medicine - DVM
- Veterinary Microbiology and Immunobiology
- Veterinary Pathology
- Veterinary Physiology
- Veterinary Preventive Medicine and Public Health
- Veterinary Toxicology and Pharmacology
Doctor of Veterinary Medicine
Certain schools offer a Doctor of Veterinary Medicine that specifically caters to aspiring equine dentists. Students enrolled in a four-year DVM degree program learn how to diagnose and treat diseases related to the equine oral cavity.
The DVM degree program can be a difficult one to enter. Applicants need an accredited undergraduate degree, and in some cases they should possess a master's degree. Students must take the GRE, although some schools do not have a minimum score requirement. Students also must have completed specific courses in biological science, chemistry, mathematics and physics.
A DVM degree program incorporates lab work along with classroom lectures. The fourth year of the program involves clinical rotations ranging from routine equine dental exams to complex dental cases. Typical coursework includes:
- Infectious diseases
Popular Career Options
With an associate's degree in equine science, graduates can choose from many careers in the horse field. Jobs available include:
- Horse-drawn tour guide
- Transportation specialist
A bachelor's degree graduate in equine science has a wide range of careers available. Several entry-level positions include:
- Horse trainers
- Riding instructors
- Horsemanship events judge
- Equestrian course designer
If graduates of a master's degree program in equine science do not wish to further their education, they can land several equine-related careers. Jobs available include:
- College professor
- Pedigree analyst
- Agricultural engineer
Employment Outlook and Salary Information
Veterinarians find employment in private or clinical practices, working for themselves or as equine dental technicians assisting licensed veterinarians. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (www.bls.gov), veterinarian employment from 2014-2024 is expected to increase 9%. As reported by the Bureau, the median per-hour rate for veterinarians as of May 2015 was $42.54 which translates to $88,490 annually.
Students interested in equine dentistry may seek an undergraduate degree in equine science, a master's in equine science or a DVM. These degree programs prepare students to work with horses including diagnosing and treating horse teeth and gums.